In April and May of 1986, for ten days, the worst nuclear plant accident in history occurred at the Chernobyl reactor. After the catastrophe, nearly 1,600 miles of the earth were sealed off in an exclusion zone. In 1997, Magnum photographer Paul Fusco started traveling to hospitals where children born within the radiation zone lived and died. For three years, he photographed their world. In the following piece, he reflects on the images. He acknowledges they are not pretty photographs, but argues that they need to be seen all the same. As one mother answered, when he asked if he could photograph her dying daughter, “I want everyone to see what they’ve done.”
Warning: The video contains graphic images.
While the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl is certainly newsworthy, there’s little doubt that the partial meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant has renewed interest in the Ukrainian disaster.
According to a Washinton Post-ABC News poll, most Americans -- by a slim majority -- view nuclear power as a safe source of energy. But despite that majority, nearly two-thirds reject the idea of building new nuclear reactors in the United States. And in the wake of Fukushima, 4 in 10 say they’re less confident in the safety of existing U.S. nuclear reactors.
Some of your responses:
(See the Post’s full Chernobyl coverage here.)